THIS IS THE FOURTH IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON HOW YOU CAN USE THE HERBS AND SPICES IN YOUR KITCHEN AS PART OF YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE.
Cloves are native to Indonesia’s Maluku spice islands. They have been used in cooking and as medicinal remedies for centuries. We all know the smell of orange and clove around Christmas time but did you know that clove also has it’s beauty uses?
Most of us have heard of using clove oil for a toothache but cloves have also been used to relieve nausea, in cough drops to relieve a scratchy throat and to freshen breath!
Clove’s distinctive aroma and taste are due to a compound called Eugenol which has antibacterial, antiseptic and anaesthetic (numbing) properties. It is also an anti-inflammatory which means that it reduces swelling and the accompanying discomfort.
It is rich in minerals, such as potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron and Vitamins A and C.
Clove essential oil is available online and can be used on the skin if combined with a carrier oil. It has very potent properties and will have to be diluted in another oil.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you use clove essential oil, dilute one drop of clove oil in ten drops of carrier oil before applying it to your skin. Clove essential oil is very potent and can burn the skin if used undiluted.
You can also make your own clove oil by doing the following:
You will need:
1/4 cup cloves
Approximately 1 cup Olive oil
350ml dark medicine container or jar (cleaned)
Step1: Wash the container properly to remove any residue from the medicine it contained before. Leave to air dry upside down to remove any water. Make sure the container is dry before you add the ingredients.
Step2: Add the cloves to the empty container
Step3: Pour olive oil into the container up to 1 inch above the level of the cloves.
Step4: Seal the container and shake to combine the oil and clove properly.
Step 5: Place the container in a cool, dark cupboard for at least 10 days to two weeks. You can then remove the cloves (I leave them in) and use the oil.
As an acne treatment
Clove is antibacterial and also contains a numbing agent. That means that it kills the infection causing bacteria and numbs the painful inflammation.
You can apply your homemade clove oil to the spot with a cotton swab after cleansing your skin. Wait until the oil is dry before applying your other skincare products.
For an all over face mask:
1 teaspoon honey – antibacterial
1/2 teaspoon homemade clove oil (1 drop clove essential oil) – antibacterial, antiseptic, numbing
2 tablespoons finely mashed apple – contains malic acid that gently removes dead skin cells that can block pores.
Blend the ingredients together and apply it all over your skin. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Use this treatment once a week to improve acne.
Please Note: Clove can be very potent. Try a patch test on the inside of your arm to see if any burning occurs before applying it to your face.
To Brighten the complexion and get rid of pimples
1 teaspoon ground cloves – kills the bacteria causing spots and soothes the inflammation
1 teaspoon raw honey – promotes healing
3 drops fresh lemon juice – brightens dark spots
Apply the mixture to your skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
IMPORTANT: Remember to do your sensitivity test before applying clove to your face!
For a healthy scalp and to stimulate hair growth
Clove has been used to stimulate hair growth and cell turnover on the scalp. It also helps to treat any bacterial infections and dandruff.
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 a cup of olive oil
Place the mixture in a small bowl inside a larger bowl with hot water to warm. When the mixture is warm (not hot) apply to your scalp and the roots of your hair massaging gently to loosen dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow. Leave on for ten minutes and wash out with your normal shampoo.
Please note: Tingling of the scalp is fine, but if it burns wash the mixture out immediately.
Let me know if you try any of these recipes or if you have any of your own to share!